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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 18 August 3, 1938

Business and Theology

Business and Theology.

Differences in space are not so misleading as differences in time. Shanghai and Sheffield can both be called Universities without it being necessary to wear intellectual pigtails in the latter place. There is no need, and I hope no attempt, to force on Kiev the organisation of Kalamazoo. But it is otherwise with time. We associate with the word University a cloistered calm, undisturbed by any noise other than the rattle of an occasional cart across the cobble stones, and reverend scholars giving lectures on logic, mathematics and theology in the sunlight that slants in from the gothic window near the roof. We try to fit that dress on to the modern Industrial University with its restless noise, its clatter of perpetual backfiring, its "big business" council, its town hall-like facade, and its technology and education.

There are in England (Scotland has of course a quite different educational system of its own) generally recognised to be two types of University—the old and the new—Oxford and Cambridge and the "provincial" University. The difference between them is recognised, has to be recognised, and its externals are tolerably vincial" Universities there is diversity, well understood. But there are more than two types. Amongst the "pro-Sleepy, theological Durham in its grim mediaeval castle would wish to multiply its 100 years to mark its difference from later, cruder, southern upstarts. London, proud also of its century, forgets that it is not a University, but many other things and possibly one or two Universities, as we use the term to-day. Beyond these two, the new aristocracy, there is still diversity. The great industrial Universities, with a student population drawn by suburban trains from a thousand scattered homes, with great technical faculties, with an obvious local character, differ profoundly from the smaller Universities in county towns which, having no local population, have to be residential and strive to be national. Reading is neither Oxford nor is it Manchester. A University in Exeter will never be like one in London, but it will equally never be like Cambridge.